Wal-Mart in the Wilderness

Published:June 26, 2009 by Brendan Wolfe

Wilderness Battlefield on May 12, 1864

I suggested just the other day that

. . . you can do like Cushman, and go to the Wilderness yourself. Cut the language screen down and try to feel what it’s like to just be there.

Now, when you’re done just being there, you can just be yourself off to Wal-Mart.

A split Orange County Planning Commission last night endorsed a Wal-Mart retail center proposed in the Wilderness battlefield area.

The 11-member advisory panel voted 5-4 to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve a proposal by JDC Ventures of Vienna for the 51.6-acre commercial development. JDC must obtain a special-use permit for the center because of the size of Wal-Mart’s proposed 138,000-square-foot store.

The tract, one-quarter mile from the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, has been zoned for commercial use since the early 1970s. Last year Orange adopted a big-box ordinance requiring a special-use permit for stores of more than 60,000 square feet.

It’s now up to the Board of Supervisors.

PREVIOUSLY: Robert Duvall on the Wilderness

IMAGE: Wilderness battlefield on May 12, 1864 (Library of Congress)